1. Ironwil
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    Ironwil Member

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    Visualization and description

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ironwil, Jan 13, 2011.

    I've come to a part in a scene that I have to describe a man standing in the center of three large pillars. The pillars have glowing sigils that writhe over their surface. Each pillar has sigils that are a certain color, but the sigils on any given pillar are of different and constantly changing hues of their color. So if one pillar's color theme is red, a gambit of deep dark red to nearly fleshy pink would be possible. These pillars are magical constructs that exist in the mind of the man. They represent magical seals that do various things when released.

    I'm having trouble with describing the scene in the way I see it in my mind and also with deciding how the 'release' is going to play out. I know other people can't write my material for me - and I certainly don't want them to. I'm curious as to what other writers do when they are having trouble describing something adequately or with ironing out details.

    I tried various things, even doing a Google images search with keywords like "dark mystical seals" to see if an image would give me some inspiration. Unfortunately, nearly 90% of the results were of the kind of seals found at Sea World.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use a combination of google image scrapbooks I make up - my own drawings and also forget what I think it should look like beyond the basics. If you like I can have a go describing it ?
     
  3. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    Your description was pretty goo as it is here. Let your readers imagine, guided by your imagination.
     
  4. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    I first decide what aspect of the object I most want to convey to the reader. That allows me to focus on one thing. They I just start writing about it. Pouring out the words, good and bad, until I create a phrase, or bit of description, that feels just right. That usually kick-starts the process in my head. Then I go back and get rid of the garbage.
     
  5. The Degenerate
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    The Degenerate Active Member

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    I agree - You did a pretty good job here of explaining something unfamiliar and I understood it, using my imagination to fill in the blanks.
     
  6. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Someone already said it, but I was visualizing the scene read your description. All that I can think of is to describe the stone, is it polished marble, sand stone, etc. Describe the play of light across the man's features and how it affects him.

    For instance, strobbing light can give me a migrane of make me dizzy. If he just activated some kind of effect you might want to describe how he feels about it, scared, triumphant, and so on.

    If you add some or all of that to what you've told us, then that's some good stuff.
     
  7. Ironwil
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    Ironwil Member

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    Thanks. The lights won't strobe - the glowing sigils move across the surface, writhing like living creatures, and might gain some intensity occasionally, but it won't be a strong strobe effect. The pillars are made of something like stone, but completely smooth. They run into the ground and farther up than can be seen. The ground is something like gray bricks, rough and cold. It's a first-person perspective, so there would be no one to see light play across him, but I could work that in when he touches one pillar to release the seal. That's a good idea, thanks! The emotions will be complex. He hates these seals just as much as he loves and depends on them. They release power that is part of him and that always calls out to him, but will also consume him if not contained. So, there's a bit of fear and triumph in both the release and the replacing of the seals.

    This part of the scene will be interesting, because the MC is blind. In this part, he's able to see only because the entire 'world' of the seals is a magical construct in his head. Since he wasn't born blind, he'll still have the idea of many things the average person would in relation to their appearance.

    This occurs in the very first chapter, before the reader is aware of his blindness. I'm thinking that the previous descriptions of what he takes in and those after will seem oddly off when this part is read, but at the end of the chapter when his blindness is revealed, it should work well.
     
  8. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Happy to help!

    I like the magic construct in his head idea.

    Since it's first person, just act out his role while typing. That's what I do.
     

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